Things do not always go my way. Sometimes I end up in situations where there does not seem a good way out, or that the way I wanted to go was just not gonna happen. When that happens, I usually end up saying, “It is what it is”, and I move on to solve the problem. Let me tell you where that phrase came from in my life.
My son is a student at the University of Georgia (go Dawgs!). I went to Athens a few weeks ago to help him move out of an apartment, and we had more than one challenge. I won’t go into it all, but Andy had tried to make good plans for where to store things, what to move, what to dispose of, etc., but it seemed that no matter what direction we went that weekend, the plans managed to fall apart. Now he had thought through it, so the plans falling apart were not really his fault, it just happened. He had me there only for a short time with a trailer to help, he had to go to work, had to find a place to store things, had to find a place to stay for a couple of weeks, and had to do it all in a matter of a day or so. Well, it rained, the storage place he was going to use got soaked with a roof leak, etc., etc. It was a mess.
It was a bit intimidating, to say the least, even to me. We talked about his options and possibilities, and he made some decisions on hopw to handle the issues. They were not the decisions he wanted to make, but he made them as the best possibilities available to him. Now as his father I could have waved the magic credit card, paid for it all to go away, but he never asked me to do that, just because he knew it was his situation to deal with. He knew however, that in the end, I would do for him whatever he asked if he needed my help. He wanted to deal with it though, and deal with it he did, always with an eye to the end goal. When we were working through it, we kept repeating the phrase, “It is what it is”. The situation existed, it had to be dealt with, and there was no sense getting all mad, depressed and upset about it all. One step at a time is the journey. It is what it is, now step one is to ……..
It struck me that our lives every day could use a little application of this truth. I have been thinking a lot lately about acceptance, but mainly in the context of accepting people where they are. How about accepting where and who we are ourselves? Do we do ourselves any good by wishing away situations, problems, habits etc.,or wishing we were someone else? I don’t think so. Sometimes we need to accept ourselves by saying, “I am what I am”, and knowing that God made us that way. I wish I was this or that is an exercise in futility. If you want to improve yourself, then first of all accept who you are, and the situation you are in. To go somewhere you need a map, and using a map requires you to know where you are, and where you are going. Sometimes you need to decide on a waypoint on your journey where you can stop and rest, and sometimes you need to adjust the path you are taking, but the bottom line is that you have to know where you are before you can make a move. Life is a series of great journeys, we just need to start where we are to get where we want to be.
I am very proud of my son Andy. I think he already truly understands that “It is what it is”, and that things have to be taken one step at a time. He is certainly subject to being down or overwhelmed, but he seems to really have that understanding in him that no matter what may come, there is a step out of it if you are willing to accept it as it is and look forward without dwelling on the situation.
Now if I can just keep it in mind myself …… 🙂